First you take a deep breath.

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How can I break bad news remotely? | The BMJ

Well, I got the dreaded 8am call from my pulmonary specialist, and I inherited two genetic maladies.  Emphysema and COPD.  One was very serious, but I don’t remember which one.  Being the google maven I am, I did my research, and the prognosis isn’t good.  I had smugly thought I had aced the test.  So, some very expensive meds are ordered, but with insurance, they will only be about $45 a month, and that is hardly bankrupting.

Years ago, I had speed read a book called First You Cry by Betty Rollin about her reaction to that sort of call informing her of a malignant breast tumor.  I didn’t cry, but I did take a few deep calming breaths, and realized I didn’t have to do all the preparations today.  There is time to exercise, to dream, to read, to solidify family connections and to prepare Snookums.  I think I have at least one good summer left in me, and I am going to make it a good one.

But I do need a plan, an outline if you will.  Papers must be notarized, codicils written, useless items given away/sold/junked.  I will simplify my life to better tend to the important things.  My eyes are good, my energy is enough to run errands, my mind is sharp enough to write.  I have a hoarding instinct, though by comparisons to others, a very mild case. But  I don’t think I am going to need new stuff.  Stuff has suddenly lost its hold on me.

I fret most about Snookums.  It is like deserting her at a time she needs me most.  So much to do in that area.

I am putting fiction on the back burner and avoiding “coffee” posts if they are too mawkish.  It is a time of introspection and not regret.

That part is odd.  It is true that God shows old men more of his mind than he does young men.  When I was young, it was my ability or lack of ability to follow his rules.  Today, I just want to watch him and marvel, and I don’t care whether I follow a rule or not.  At this stage in life I am not likely to get in too much trouble by just drifting along.

So that is the update.  I don’t know where these little missives will go at this point.  I do want to chronicle this adventure, but I want to stay positive and upbeat.  I do not fear death, but I am not overly fond of dying.  Keep in mind that the prognosis is about five years out, and even then, the odds are still six out of ten that I’ll make it past five. Being a gambler, those aren’t such terrible odds if you already have a pile of chips in front of you.  And boy!  Do I have a pile of chips!

Good morning!!

10 thoughts on “First you take a deep breath.

    Boo said:
    January 13, 2022 at 1:33 pm

    Sending you love and hugs and just one day at a time.

    Liked by 1 person

    Rivergirl said:
    January 13, 2022 at 1:34 pm

    I’m betting on you. There’s nothing wrong with putting your affairs in order, and Lord knows I’m all for ridding oneself of hoarded “treasures”… but always concentrate on living your best life and enjoying the simple pleasures, for as long as you can. My FIL had COPD and emphysema and lived with it for many years… ironically it was leukemia that got him in the end. Be good to yourself and please know that you have friends holding you close in our hearts.

    Liked by 1 person

    Lia Storm said:
    January 13, 2022 at 1:36 pm

    I’m not even sure I can say anything here because of all that happened this past year in my family, but I will say I LOVES YA and you are going to make that 5 years , so do the things you have to do to get your affairs in order, then enjoy the rest of the time you have. Hey, none of us is guaranteed tomorrow, not even young people, but we can all appreciate each and every moment we have. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    Dana Everhart said:
    January 13, 2022 at 1:43 pm

    something about not counting eggs, or is it the chickens?…I don’t know and like you at this point in life it really never mattered…day by day is what we do…

    Liked by 2 people

    The Hinoeuma said:
    January 13, 2022 at 1:51 pm

    Emphysema and COPD are genetic? I thought they were the result of human bad habits, Agent Orange and asbestos exposure.

    Liked by 1 person

      Rusty Armor responded:
      January 13, 2022 at 1:55 pm

      All five of my siblings have it as did my mother … but I don’t think that bad habits help it much. I lived most of my childhood and teens at 8,000′ to 10,000 feet. It gave me good lung capacity, but I just discovered that COPD patients often do have good blood gasses. Who knew!

      Liked by 1 person

    Catherine said:
    January 13, 2022 at 6:44 pm

    Family, friends, and God are all in your corner. Warm hugs, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    Christine said:
    January 14, 2022 at 5:18 am

    Isn’t that the truth. I was walking every day logging countless miles, until one day I literally couldn’t.
    I am on my second doctor. I tell her..everything hurts.I feel weighed down. She took x-rays of my joints and said the same thing the other doctor said. Long story short I am being treated like a drug seeker,finally my 4th neurologist four idiopathic small fiber neuropathy. Idiopathic only means they don’t know what is driving it 🙄. My 4th neurologist is a keeper because he got mad after hearing what I had been told at my doctor’s office. I am to defer everything to him.
    I need cataract surgery and I just got hearing aids. My 68th year sucked.
    69 is coming up hope it doesn’t live up to its number or I’ll be F’ well you know.
    Take care 🙂 💕

    Liked by 1 person

      Rusty Armor responded:
      January 14, 2022 at 9:33 am

      … well, if all things truly come in threes, I should be good! I think 69 was my best year ever …


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